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Dolphinarium discotheque massacre

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Dolphinarium suicide bombing
Part of the Second Intifada militancy campaign
DolphinariumNightClub.2012.04.16.jpg
The abandoned ruins of the Dolphinarium in 2012.
The attack site is located in Tel Aviv
The attack site
The attack site
The attack site is located in Central Israel
The attack site
The attack site
LocationTel Aviv, Israel
Coordinates32°04′02″N 34°45′42″E / 32.06722°N 34.76167°E / 32.06722; 34.76167
Date1 June 2001
23:30 pm (GMT+3)
Attack type
Suicide bombing
Deaths21 victims (+1 bomber)
Non-fatal injuries
100+
PerpetratorsIslamic Jihad
Hamas
AssailantSaeed Hotari
English inscription on the back of the Dolphinarium massacre memorial

The Dolphinarium discotheque massacre was a Hamas terror attack on 1 June 2001 in which a Hamas-affiliated Islamist terrorist blew himself up outside a nightclub on the beachfront in Tel Aviv, Israel, killing 21 Israelis, 16 of them teenagers.[1][2][3] The majority of the victims were Israeli teenage girls, whose families had recently immigrated from the former Soviet Union.

Attack

Suicide bomber Saeed Hotari was standing in line on a Friday night in front of the Dolphinarium, when the area was packed with teenagers. Most of the crowd were young people from Russian-speaking families from the former Soviet Union, who were waiting for admission to a dance party at the Dolphin disco, and others were in line to enter the adjacent nightclub.[4] Survivors of the attack later described how the young Palestinian bomber appeared to taunt his victims before the explosion, wandering among them dressed in a disguise that led his victims to mistake him for an Orthodox Jew from Asia. Before detonating his bomb, he banged a drum packed with explosives and ball-bearings, while taunting his victims in Hebrew with the words "Something's going to happen".[5] At 23:27, he detonated his explosive device.[6] Witnesses claimed that body parts lay all over the area, and that bodies were piled one above another on the sidewalk before being collected. Many civilians in the vicinity of the bombing rushed to assist emergency services.

The suicide bombing followed a failed attack attempt on the same target five months earlier.[7]

Fatalities

Dolphinarium Massacre memorial at the Tel Aviv Dolphinarium site with the names of the victims written in Russian

One Israeli soldier and 20 civilians, the majority teenage girls whose parents had made aliyah to Israel from the former Soviet Union, were murdered in the attack:[8]

  • Yelena Nelimov, 18, of Tel Aviv[20]
  • Irena Usdachi, 18, of Holon[21]
  • Ilya Gutman, 19, of Bat Yam[22]
  • Roman Dezanshvili, 21, of Bat Yam[23]
  • Pvt. Diez (Dani) Normanov, 21, of Tel Aviv[24]
  • Ori Shahar, 32, of Ramat Gan[25]
  • Yael-Yulia Sklianik, 15, of Holon[26] – died of her injuries on 2 June 2001
  • Sergei Panchenko, 20, Ukraine[27] – died of his injuries on 2 June 2001
  • Jan Bloom, 25, of Ramat Gan[28] – died of his injuries on 3 June 2001
  • Yevgeniya Dorfman, 15, of Bat Yam[29] – died of her injuries on 19 June 2001

Perpetrators

Both Islamic Jihad and a group calling itself "Hezbollah-Palestine" originally claimed responsibility for the suicide bombing, only to later retract the claims.[30] Later on it was revealed that the attack was carried out by Saeed Hotari, aged 22, a militant linked to the Palestinian Islamist militant group Hamas.[31]

Official reactions

Involved parties

 Israel:

  • Israeli officials called the attack a "massacre".[32]

 Palestinian Authority:

  • President of the Palestinian Authority Yasser Arafat condemned the attack and called for a cease-fire.[33]
Supranational
  •  United Nations – U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan stated that he "condemns this indiscriminate terrorist attack in the strongest possible terms." and that the attack "underlines the urgency of breaking the cycle of violence."[34]
International
  •  Kuwait – The Kuwaiti Foreign Minister and acting Premier Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah stated that he does not support Palestinian suicide bombings against civilians.[35]
  •  United States – U.S. President George W. Bush stated that he condemns the attack in the strongest terms and that "There is no justification for senseless attacks against innocent civilians."[36]

Aftermath

Dolphinarium discotheque suicide bombing by Victor Brindatch oil on canvas painting size 100×130

After the attack many in the Israeli public demanded a harsh military retaliation; nevertheless, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon decided to not take any immediate retaliatory actions. US and other governments applied heavy diplomatic pressure on Israel to refrain from action.[33] Nevertheless, the attack was later on noted as one of the reasons cited by the Israeli government for building the Israeli West Bank barrier.[37]

In Ramallah dozens of Palestinians celebrated in the streets and fired in the air as a sign of celebration.[4] The bomber, Saeed Hotari, was praised as a martyr by his father.[31] President George W. Bush demanded that Yasser Arafat condemn the terrorist act.[38] The next day, Israeli-Arabs barricaded themselves in the Hassan Bek Mosque opposite the Dolphinarium site and threw objects at the police.[39]

According to the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center, an Israeli-based organization with close ties to the IDF, among the materials seized by the IDF in the course of Operation Defensive Shield were two documents issued by the Martyrs' Families and Injured Care Establishment, which is under the authority of the Palestinian National Authority's Ministry of Social Affairs. The documents detail the transfer of US$2,000 to the father of the suicide bomber, who was living in Jordan at that time (18 June 2001). According to the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center, the transfer was made despite the suicide bomber's Hamas affiliation, despite the father's public support of the suicide bombing attack, and despite Arafat's public condemnation of the bombing.[40][41]

Dolphinarium site

After the bombing, the Dolphinarium discotheque was abandoned, covered with graffiti. It remained on the Tel Aviv beachfront until its demolition in May 2018.[42]

For many years, the victim's families campaigned to permanently preserve the ruined building as a monument to the attack. Eventually, the building was demolished in order to extend the promenade along the coast.[43] Memorial services to the victims of the attack were held every year at the site by friends and family of the victims.[44]

See also

References

  1. ^ O'Sullivan, Arieh (November 25, 2001). "No. 1 Hamas terrorist killed. Followers threaten revenge in Tel Aviv". Jerusalem Post. Archived from the original on October 23, 2012. Retrieved January 30, 2009.
  2. ^ Fisher, Ian (January 29, 2006). "In Hamas's Overt Hatred, Many Israelis See Hope". New York Times. Retrieved January 30, 2009.
  3. ^ Ynet – פיגוע בדולפינריום – , ynet.co.il; accessed 2 September 2015.
  4. ^ a b David Rudge (June 4, 2001). "Bomb horror hits Tel Aviv disco". jpost.com. Archived from the original on December 5, 2006. Retrieved June 3, 2017.
  5. ^ Chris McGreal,3,000 dead yet peace remains elusive, guardian.co.uk, 29 September 2003.
  6. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BaaT7vdSXrI#t=120
  7. ^ "Bloody Terrorist Attack in Tel Aviv – 18 Youth Killed" (in Hebrew). Ynet. June 2, 2001. Retrieved May 4, 2008.
  8. ^ "List of Victims of the Dolphinarium Terrorist Attack". Embassy of Israel in Washington DC. June 4, 2001. Retrieved January 31, 2009.
  9. ^ "Maria Tagilchev". GxMSDev. Retrieved December 14, 2014.
  10. ^ "Raisa Nimrovsky". GxMSDev. Retrieved December 14, 2014.
  11. ^ "Anya Kazachkov". GxMSDev. Retrieved December 14, 2014.
  12. ^ "Katherine Kastaniyada-Talkir". GxMSDev. Retrieved December 14, 2014.
  13. ^ "Irina Nepomneschi". GxMSDev. Retrieved December 14, 2014.
  14. ^ "Mariana Medvedenko". GxMSDev. Retrieved December 14, 2014.
  15. ^ "Yulia Nelimov". GxMSDev. Retrieved December 14, 2014.
  16. ^ "Liana Sakiyan". GxMSDev. Retrieved December 14, 2014.
  17. ^ "Marina Berkovizki". GxMSDev. Retrieved December 14, 2014.
  18. ^ "Simona Rodin". GxMSDev. Retrieved December 14, 2014.
  19. ^ "Alexei Lupalo". GxMSDev. Retrieved December 14, 2014.
  20. ^ "Yelena Nelimov". GxMSDev. Retrieved December 14, 2014.
  21. ^ "Irena Usdachi". GxMSDev. Retrieved December 14, 2014.
  22. ^ "Ilya Gutman". GxMSDev. Retrieved December 14, 2014.
  23. ^ "Roman Dezanshvili". GxMSDev. Retrieved December 14, 2014.
  24. ^ "Pvt Diez Normanov". GxMSDev. Retrieved December 14, 2014.
  25. ^ "Ori Shahar". GxMSDev. Retrieved December 14, 2014.
  26. ^ "Yael-Yulia Sklianik". GxMSDev. Retrieved December 14, 2014.
  27. ^ "Sergei Panchenko". GxMSDev. Retrieved December 14, 2014.
  28. ^ "Jan Bloom". GxMSDev. Retrieved December 14, 2014.
  29. ^ "Yevgenia Dorfman". GxMSDev. Retrieved December 14, 2014.
  30. ^ Bomb horror hits Tel Aviv disco Archived May 16, 2008, at the Wayback Machine, The Jerusalem Post, 4 June 2001.
  31. ^ a b "Bomber went to West Bank for a better life". the Guardian. Retrieved December 14, 2014.
  32. ^ Shalom, Silvan. "Q&A with Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom", Haaretz, 8 May 2008.
  33. ^ a b Deborah Sontag, "Arafat Calls for Cease-Fire, Deploring Tel Aviv Attack", New York Times, 3 June 2001.
  34. ^ Press Release SG/SM/7829 Archived June 9, 2012, at the Wayback Machine, domino.un.org, 1 June 2001.
  35. ^ "Tel-Aviv suicide bombing at the Dolphin disco-1-Jun-2001". MFA. June 2, 2001. Archived from the original on December 17, 2015.
  36. ^ "Israeli police: Four dead in Tel Aviv bombing". CNN. February 25, 2005. Archived from the original on October 10, 2012.
  37. ^ Israel Foreign Ministry, Four Years of Conflict: Israel's war against terrorism, 3 October 2004, p. 28
  38. ^ "Bush to Arafat: You Must Condemn This Terrible Attack" (in Hebrew). Ynet. June 2, 2001. Retrieved May 4, 2008.
  39. ^ 14 лет со дня чудовищного теракта в тель-авивском "Дольфи" 01.06.2015 22:41, 9tv.co.il
  40. ^ "The Palestinian Authority's support of Hamas' suicide terrorism". October 2004. Retrieved May 4, 2008.
  41. ^ "The Palestinian Authority's support of Hamas' suicide terrorism". October 10, 2004. Retrieved May 24, 2017.
  42. ^ Lidman, Melanie (May 16, 2018). "Show's over for Tel Aviv's Dolphinarium eyesore". Times of Israel. Retrieved September 12, 2018.
  43. ^ [Decided the fate of Tel Aviv Dolphinarium Решилась судьба тель-авивского дельфинария] 27-12-2014, 01:30, ЛЕОНИД РАБИН
  44. ^ 14 лет со дня чудовищного теракта в тель-авивском "Дольфи" 01.06.2015 22:41, 9tv.co.il

External links